Monday, November 24, 2003

The good news is...I have a cold. I have never described that as good news before, but I was beginning to get worried.
A little background: Last Monday, I was moving around the multi-media class, making sure my students were working and not surfing the net for things they are not supposed to be surfing the net for. Suddenly, I began to feel weak and I had to sit down. That didn't help much. I kept getting weaker and weaker. Fortunately, South's tech director, Mike Sapp, was in the room so I asked if he could take over for a few moments while I went to the nurse's office. I barely made it there. I went immediately to a cot and laid down for about five minutes. I still didn't feel great, but I went back to the classroom and I managed to get through the rest of the day.
The same thing happened earlier this year in the same classroom. I came down with a bad cold almost immediately and it took me about a week to get over it. This time, I had to wait and wait for the cold and I began fearing that I had some horrible undetected disease. Finally, Friday night as I was returning home from school, all of the symptoms began to hit. So I have my cold. I'm feeling worse, but I'm also feeling better if that makes any sense
Hopefully, the long-delayed South Middle School website will go on line this week. We are waiting for the computer that the news and sports material is on to get back from the shop. After that, we should be able to have the home page, top news page, sports page, a links page for student research, and a links page for teachers, with more on the way.
Because I was feeling so lousy Friday night, I did not get to be at Hastings for Bill Colby's discussion and book signing. Colby was the lawyer who fought all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court for Nancy Cruzan's right to die. I did buy his book, however, and I hope to read it over the Thanksgiving break.
Even though I teach at South, I can't seem to put the craziness of the Diamond R-4 School District behind me. I have spent about an hour a week keeping up my Wildcat Central website because it has always meant so much to the kids.
Now I find out that the continued existence of my site is bothering the person who is doing the new "official" Diamond R-4 website so much that he is threatening kids who provide information to me for the stories I put on the site. I find it particularly appalling that he is telling my former students that I am not much of a journalist, which he, of course, knows because he has a master's degree in journalism. Of course, he doesn't tell them that the only time he worked for newspapers when he was in college 30 years ago and worked part-time for The Joplin Globe. He has worked mostly in p.r. for the military since that time. He also did some radio journalism. I can't even imagine criticizing a teacher or a former teacher to students. For the record, students have not been providing information for the website. Most of it I get by rewriting information from The Neosho Daily, the Newton County News or The Joplin Globe.
Unfortunately, this man's tactics have really caused problems for my former students, who want to remain loyal to me, but also, quite understandably, do not want to get on this man's bad side. I plan to encourage them to make a break from me. They can't let this nonsense affect their school lives.
The same tactics have been used by a school administrator who has threatened people who have websites and provide links to Wildcat Central. He has threatened at least one teacher and one student who have non-school websites (though both provide some school information). Both sites no longer link to mine.
Of course, it does boost my ego that they see me as being such a threat, but there is really no way I can do them any damage.

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